The U.S. dollar firmed against its major rivals on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve hinted that tapering of the central bank’s asset purchases could begin in the near futures.

The Fed, which announced its monetary policy this afternoon, said that a “moderation in the pace of asset purchases may soon be warranted” if progress towards its dual goals continues broadly as expected.

The central bank currently plans to continue its bond purchases at a rate of at least $120 billion per month but is expected to begin scaling back later this year.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated during his post-meeting press conference that the central bank could begin tapering its asset purchases as soon as its next meeting in early November.

Powell said substantial further progress has been achieved with regard to the Fed’s inflation goal, while “the test for substantial further progress on employment is all but met.”

The National Association of Realtors released a report on Wednesday showing a pullback by U.S. existing home sales in the month of August. The report said existing home sales slumped by 2% to an annual rate of 5.88 million in August after jumping by 2.2% to a revised rate of 6.00 million in July.

Economists had expected existing home sales to decrease by 1.7% in August.

The dollar index, which dropped to 92.99 soon after the Fed announced its policy, recovered swiftly and rose to 93.51. It is currently hovering around 93.45, up 0.26% from the previous close.

Against the Euro, the dollar is gaining nearly 0.3% at $1.1694.

The Pound Sterling weakened to $1.3621 from $1.3690. The sterling had settled at $1.3659 on Tuesday.

The dollar strengthened against the Japanese currency, fetching 109.78 yen a dollar, advancing from 109.22 yen.

Against the Aussie, the dollar climbed to 0.7242, gaining 0.15%.

The Swiss franc weakened to 0.9263 a dollar from 0.9237.

The Loonie strengthened to 1.2772 a dollar, gaining from 1.2820, as crude oil prices rose sharply after data showed a larger than expected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles last week.


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